Saturday, May 31, 2008

The littlest spectator...

This cutie pie is only about 6 weeks old! He was actually pretty well-mannered on the leash, for his age. He had sharp, little puppy-dog teeth though! His mom was a bit dismayed when I got down and petted him and he grabbed right onto my hand. I quickly reassured her that is was okay, we have a puppy too. It's worth the little bites to snuggle with such a cuddly bundle of joy!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

More Parading...

These kids were having a grand time on their decorated atvs. What other time can you go careening down Main Street and get away with it? ;-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Memorial Day Parade

I'm as patriotic as the next American, and I truly appreciated all the prayers and tributes to our soldiers. However, I'm afraid I'm even more obsessed with horses and so these were my favorite entries in the parade...

Miniature horses! Aren't they adorable????

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Floral Tribute

After leaving the town center, the Memorial Day Parade marched to the bridge over the Little Androscoggin River, where members of the Ladies Auxillary tossed a floral tribute to our soldiers into the water.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Honoring Great-Grampa

Yesterday our boys decorated their great-grandfather's grave with American Flags. He passed away last year and they miss him. Great-Grampa served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Great-Grampa isn't buried in West Paris - we'll return to the Memorial Day Parade tomorrow. I just really wanted to share this special moment with my boys today...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

West Paris may be a small town, but on Memorial Day we host a big parade and pay tribute to our veterans. Here you see a portion of the 21 gun salute - I was thrilled to see that I got a photo of the muzzle flash! Stay tuned for more pictures of this busy day....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Gosling Whisperer

This my youngest son. We have started calling him 'The Gosling Whisperer' (after "The Horse Whisperer" book & movie) because the goslings flock to him! They talk to him and look to him for guidance. It's unbelievably cute!! He can talk to the adults as well. When Canada Geese fly overhead, he honks at them. He sounds so much like them that they will actually respond.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Black-Fly Season

They're enough to drive a body insane, whether man or beast!! In Maine, we determine our outdoor activities based on when the fly season starts - you do not want to go camping when they are at their worst! Some people purchase head nets and wear them religiously whilst gardening. There are stories about deer and moose going crazy and wreaking havoc. Kitch has a particularly hard time dealing with them, since he didn't meet them until he was 15 and moved here from New Mexico. He always drops weight in the summer because he runs and runs around the pasture trying to escape the flies. (It's okay though because he always puts that extra weight back on during our lazy winters!) He also spends a lot of time walking through the underbrush, scraping bugs off his belly.

Tillie has it figured out though! And this blows my mind because it's a foal behavior and not something I've ever seen an adult do - she keeps her head in Kitchy's tail so that whenever he swats at flies, he brushs them off her head!! Brilliant, although she almost lost some teeth the first couple of times she tried it and he kicked at her....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mrs. Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Look who brought home a girlfriend!! Remember this post? Well, our male Rose-breasted Grosbeak disappeared for a couple of weeks, but we were so happy to see that he came back the other day. Then, yesterday his mate stopped in for some seeds. I so hope that they find a safe place to nest nearby so that we can continue to enjoy their company....

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last night we experienced some pretty violent thunderstorms, complete with hail. The clouds were incredible! I love where we live because we are in a valley and can see the storms long before they arrive here. In between showers, there were breaks in the clouds that the sun could peek through, which created this beautiful rainbow. While I was taking this photo, the boys were hollering at me - "Mom, you should look out the back door - it's pouring out there!!" I was standing on the front step and it was safe for the camera, no raindrops. Weird, huh? Can you see the second rainbow just starting to form?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The last 2 days I happened to show you only cowgirls, so today, in the interest of being fair, here is a shot of some of the cowboys! The athleticism of these horses never ceases to amaze me. Look at that horse changing direction and getting ready to leap after that calf. He's right there where his rider wants him to be, with no hesitation.
I also realized that many of you probably don't know what team penning is: 3 riders enter a large arena where a herd of 30 cows is bunched together at the far end. Each cow is wearing a number from 0 to 9, with 3 cows of each number in the herd. Once the riders cross the foul line, the timer is tripped and the judge calls out a number. Before they run out of time, the riders must get the 3 cows with their assigned number out of the herd, (Without letting the rest of the herd cross the foul line.) down the length of the arena and into a small pen. The fastest team wins. MUCH easier said than done!! It is a wicked lot of fun for the whole family! For more information, you can check out Central Maine Team Penning or the United States Team Penning Association.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pretty Palomino

Here is another shot from Saturday's Team Penning event in Leeds - about 45 minutes from West Paris. This rider drove down with a bunch of family & friends from Quebec! They told us that it takes them approximately 6 hours. They are super friendly and we had a really good time penning with them! We are looking forward to seeing them again in August.

FYI A Palomino is a horse of this coloration - golden with a white mane & tail. They occur in many different breeds of horses.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cowgirl Up!

Here's a photo that I took at the team penning event that I photographed on Saturday. This girl sure knows how to ride hard on the cows!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mud Season in Maine

Just kidding!! This morning we asked the boys what movie they have borrowed the most from the library. They both said "Top Truck Challenge". We asked them if they would be interested in seeing that sort of thing in person. They answered, "Sure, but we'd have to go to North Carolina or something." We told them to gather their things, we were headed to Oxford, about 10 minutes away, for the Oxford Tuff Truck Challenge and Mud Run! We had a wicked good time watching the action!!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I loved the red brushstrokes on this yellow tulip in my mother-in-law's garden.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Way back in the fall of 2004, my husband planned a dream vacation for me - trail riding at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He had been there as a Scout leader and really wanted me to be able to see what an amazing place it was. The American Paint Horse Association was planning a 3-day ride, so he started calling people about traveling, accommodations and of course, rental horses. He found a couple that lived just outside the ranch, in Cimarron, who would be willing to rent us a pair of horses. Kitchen, whom you met here, was for my husband to ride and the feisty little Paint mare, Sasha, was for me. We couldn't have found 2 better horses for that mountainous journey if we had searched for years! It was an amazing adventure!! Some of those trails really pushed my limits because I'm such a cautious person by nature, but I was able to put my trust in Sasha. She never took a bad step and kept me safe.

By the end of the 4th day, (We stayed an extra day and rode with Kitch & Sasha's owner around his favorite mountain.) we were very sad to be leaving these wonderful horses. When we asked if we could return and ride them again the following year, they told us that they were planning on selling them. We were heartbroken, until they decided that they had never been to Maine before, and if we paid for gas, they would drive them up to us!! Needless to say, we were thrilled!! Kitch & Sasha arrived in the spring of 2005.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rooster Head Shot

Meet my parents' rooster. He commands a flock of 6 hens. He started his life in the classroom, believe it or not. Each spring I take the incubator and a clutch of eggs to school and the kids get to watch them hatch. (I'm scheduled to take it to the 2nd grade classroom tomorrow.) I even take a high-powered flashlight, called an egg candler, to class sometime during the incubation process, which takes 21 days. Using this light, we can look through the shell and see the chick developing inside the egg. If we're lucky, we can even see it moving around! Needless to say, the kids are always absolutely fascinated. It's such a fun project! The only down-side is that anytime we hatch chicks, we always end up with way too many roosters. Fortunately, this guy found a very happy home.

Click here to read about some of my other roosters finding a happy home and to see pictures of them....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


There are some places that it is really hard for a horse to scratch!! Fortunately, Sasha seems to have things under control...

Monday, May 12, 2008


When we visited my mother-in-law yesterday, I saw this unusual flower in her garden. Does anyone know what it is? I've never seen anything like it. It's so pretty!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

I thought it would be appropriate today to post a picture of my mother. I'm so lucky that we share a lot of similar interests, including horses. Mom has owned Sasha for almost a year now and she is doing great with her! They have learned a lot about working together and are having fun too. Sasha is a mother as well - she had 5 foals when she was younger....

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I love the name of this ice cream shop, (Which is actually located in the nearby town of Oxford, not in West Paris.) and have been wanting to post a photo of it all spring. The other day we were driving by and this scene caught my eye. I told the boys, as I slammed on the brakes and careened into the parking lot, (Just kidding!!) that they were just going to have to be patient 'cause I couldn't miss this photo opportunity! The girl said that she rode about 3 1/2 miles to get there.

I know that someone out there is going to question the health of this horse because he is not in "show" condition. I can tell you that he is a very well loved, but very old horse. There is one of those in our family as well, and more than once people have complained about her condition, but at a certain point there's not a whole lot you can do for them. Keeping them active, as this girl is doing, is great for them though! Although, a good grooming wouldn't hurt...

Friday, May 9, 2008

School Desk

Remember the old mill that I showed you? Well, my sister-in-law just found this desk in my mother's attic that was made at that mill! (West Paris didn't exist until 1957, before that it was called South Paris.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ralph - The Best Hamster in the World

Ralph has been a big part of our lives for the past 3 years. I've never met a hamster with so much personality! He was able to convert several 'anti-rodent' people amongst our family & friends. Even they had to admit that he was amazingly lovable. He belonged to my oldest son, pictured here, and they spent countless hours playing together or just snuggling. Yesterday he passed away. My son wrote his eulogy on my other blog, in case you are interested in reading it. We dug through the archives to find a bunch of our favorite photos to post. Does anyone else have a story to share about a favorite hamster? We would enjoy reading it...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Look who came to visit me this morning!

This is my favorite type of bird. I wish that I could have gotten a better picture, but I saw him out there before I was fully awake. I think I'm lucky I got any pictures of him. ;-) Then, I had to scare him off because he's apparently not afraid of my cat, and yet he should be very, very afraid. She's lethal! I love her dearly, but I really wish that she would only kill rodents and leave my birds alone...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pajama Day

Today is pajama day at school. The class with the most participation will win a prize. Never wanting to miss the opportunity to win something, my boys were excited to wear their pjs! I don't know how many times this morning I started to tell them to go get dressed! ;-)
Our youngest was having trouble getting his bike to work this morning, so he hitched a ride with his brother.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Asia Eatery

This is the newest restaurant in South Paris, the next town over from West Paris. We haven't tried it yet. I took this at dusk, and I love how the sky looks. I was looking through the car windsheild, which is why there is a reflection of the sign on the rooftop, in case you were wondering.
I'd kinda like to stop in and tell them that they really need to take that sign down....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I took this picture the other night because I think that perhaps this is the definition of a 'Mainiac' - people willing to bundle up and stand shivering in the cold, waiting to be cream???? Yup, we joined them and it was yummy!!
We're actually over the town line into South Paris now. (And why it's called Norway Soft Serve, I don't know. Norway is the next town over.) This building was the old railroad station. They have preserved as much of its character as possible and it's a really pretty old building. The trains still run right beside it, which my boys think is so cool, but they don't carry passengers anymore so they don't use this building.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Keepin' It Safe

A few days ago, another blogger discussed alcohol abuse/neglect. This caught my eye as I was driving by yesterday afternoon. First I thought "There's something very wrong with this!" Babies & beer really don't mix! But then my husband pointed out that maybe they just wanted to be sure that it arrived home safely. ;-)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Theme Day: Numbers

These are the numbers that upset my husband (and I'm sure lots of other people too!) the most!! Personally, I try not to worry about the things that I can't control...

There are 181 other blogs participating in today's theme. Have fun today checking out how everyone else interprets this theme. It's amazing!!
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Busan, Korea South by iamnbinb, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chesapeake Daily Photo (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Chicago (IL), USA by Focused Light, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Concordia Sagittaria, Italy by Patrizia, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Dallas (TX), USA by turtle, Darmstadt, Germany by Elsch, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Mary, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hong Kong, Hong Kong by Rachel A., Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Ioannina, Greece by Christos-Ioanna, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Malaga, Spain by Paula, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Medan, Indonesia by KT, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Montpellier, France by Marie, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, North Hampton (NH), USA by Amy, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Penang, Malaysia by Maltelda, Perth, Australia by Elevation7, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea by Jules, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Riga, Latvia by Riga Images, Rollag, Norway by Stormel, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, San Francisco (CA), USA by Louis la Vache, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vichy, France by Delphsnl, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,